I read with interest your [Australian Financial Review] article published 28 December 2018 titled “Opal Tower cracks a minefield for investors”.
Your fourth paragraph states “This is what we get for having our homes regulated by a department that’s also in charge of broken kettles and dodgy car mechanics”.
Your summation of Fair Trading’s competencies is 100% correct, they are a high volume, small dollar value, low legal complexity regulator (broken kettle). Real Estate transactions are low frequency, large dollar value and legally very complex. Fair Trading do not have the knowledge, skills and experience to support industry, and therefore put consumers at risk.
The REINSW has lobbied Government for over 10 years for increased entry education and training for agents, unfortunately without success.
Fair Trading believe that a person seeking a career in real estate needs less than a weeks training to competently respond to a consumers expectations of a quality service.
All of our attempts to increase education is met with Fair Trading’s go to phase “barriers to entry”. Fair Trading believe that competition is the only relevant market influence, whilst the REINSW supports market competition is must be amongst competent practitioners.
Similarly the REINSW is calling for increased and quality assured continuing professional development. We see this training as essential if a practitioner is to stay abreast of changes to market conditions and the regulatory environment. Fair Trading see it as a cost of doing business and opposes it.
You will find some additional information on THIS LINK.
You may also find it of interest that seven of the major property associations in N.S.W have written to the Premier asking to be moved from Fair Trading. In response the Premier wrote back saying she would not meet with us to discuss our concerns.
Fair Trading NSW is simply not up to the job of protecting the interests of apartment owners, according to Tim McKibbin, Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.
In the wake of the Opal crisis, Mr McKibbin, head of the Real Estate industry’s professional body in NSW, has written to us accusing Fair Trading of lacking the knowledge, skills and experience to protect apartment owners.
This is his letter, in full:
Earlier this year, REINSW pulled out of the Government’s Real Estate Reference Group saying it was pointless trying to deal with a body that “lacked the competencies” to deal with the complexities of Real Estate law, asking that Real Estate be moved to another government department.
The government portrayed this as the Real Estate industry trying to move to self regulation, something REINSW has vehemently denied.